Democracies are running out of excuses as to why they don't elect more women.
A new study analyzing municipal elections in Spain found that parties that increased their ballot's representation of female candidates by 10 percent over the opposition saw a 4.2 percent gain at the ballot box. That equals a 20-vote switch per 1,000 votes cast. The analysis, co-authored by MIT economist Albert Saiz, comes a decade after Spain updated municipal election laws to require that women fill at least 40 percent of the slots on political parties' electoral lists.
In Saiz's opinion, the study pokes holes in common justifications for many democracies' low numbers of elected female officials. Instead, Saiz blames internal machinations of political parties, which tend to "elbow out" potential female candidates.
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